Go west, young man. – Horace Greeley
When Mr. Greeley made that statement in 1850 in Hints toward Reforms, I could not imagine he would expect a day when men and women would pile into a Japanese made sedan, drive 80 miles per hour along well maintained roads to a high mountain desert town to enjoy a nice weekend of photography, shopping at unique stores, and art viewing. No, I don’t think Horace was expecting that one, even with the bold expectations of the Manifest Destiny.
See, Marfa isn’t just a place, it is a unique view into both the death and rebirth of rural America. Marfa’s a place where cattle still roam the high grasslands and art is made (and found). Where all the grocery stores are still independent, and the only chains in town are the Dollar General and a couple Stripes fuel stations. In this corner of the most remote portions of Texas, one finds a small town thriving on beauty.
There is a beauty in desolation. A beauty in truly dark skies, where the stars are big and bright One finds this in a town like Marfa, or its sister high desert towns – Alpine, Fort Davis. These towns are beautiful jewels and markers of a time long gone to many of us, within reach of our cars from our urban existence. This high desert, where it gets hot in the summer and cold in the winter, leaves you ready to never quite ready to return to the world of traffic jams and ‘big’ living in the ‘big’ city. You never know, you might find that in a small town too.